Roy Kelton Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas on April 23, 1936. As a teenager he organized a band and appeared regularly on radio, moving to local television and before 21 years of age was recording for Sun Records, home of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
While his first Sun recording “Ooby Dooby” landed on the Hit Parade in the summer of 1956, it was not until Roy Orbison moved to Monument Records that his first million selling hit, “Only The Lonely,” started his career in high gear in 1960, followed by “Blue Angel” and “I’m Hurtin’” that same year.
In 1961 “Running Scared” gave him his first #1 hit, a few months later “Crying” peaked at #2 adding more gold for Roy. “Dream Baby,” “In Dreams,” Mean Woman Blues,” “Blue Bayou,” “Pretty Paper” and “It’s Over” charted before “Oh Pretty Woman” gave him his second #1 hit selling an estimated seven million records plus worldwide.
Roy Orbison smoked most of his life, had a triple heart bypass in 1978 and at 52 years of age suffered a fatal heart attack on December 6, 1988. He was laid to rest at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
A Grammy winner, Roy Orbison was named “Best Pop Vocal Performance” by a male in 1990. Received a “Lifetime Achievement award in 1998, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the “Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame” in 1987. Inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010.